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Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita breaks down the top stories around the world.
- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]
AKIKO FUJITA: In a world view today, 38 people killed in Myanmar overnight in the bloodiest day since the military came to power in a coup last month. The highest death toll was reported in the capital of Yangon. Police sprayed the tear gas and fired into crowds to break up demonstrations that have now dragged on for a month. Protesters are demanding the military overturn a coup that ousted former leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, back in February.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is expected to consider action against Myanmar on Friday, but a coordinated response could be difficult with China and Russia, both permanent members of the Security Council, expected to veto it. Regulators in Europe have started a rolling review of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. The European Medicines Agency saying it will study data from ongoing vaccine trials until there is enough information there to authorize its usage across the EU's 27 member countries.
The news comes as European leaders face increasing pressure to speed up the pace of vaccinations. The continent has lagged behind Israel, the US, and the UK. We should note Hungary and Slovakia have already ordered doses of the Russian vaccine, while the Czech Republic and Austria are currently considering it. Vaccines from Pfizer, Oxford AstraZeneca, and Moderna have all been approved for usage, so far.
And over in India, the country's controversial COVID-19 vaccine is getting a big boost of confidence from new data. The drug maker behind Covaxin releasing initial results from its clinical trial that showed an efficacy rate of 81%. That study has not been peer reviewed and Bharat Biotech did not say if the rate applied to all coronavirus symptoms or serious reactions to the virus. Covaxin has already been approved by regulators and administered to millions of Indians earlier this year, leading to criticism about the safety of the vaccine approval process in the country. Bharat Biotech has said it does have the capacity to manufacture 300 million doses annually.